Commit and set a target
The SME Climate Hub supports SMEs to meet international climate targets — halving their emissions by 2030 and providing climate solutions which cut emissions more widely across society.
- Make the SME Climate Commitment – The SME Climate Hub opens the doors for small- and medium-sized businesses to join the globally recognized United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign. If you’re not already on board, make the SME Climate Commitment today. Additional details on the commitment- including what it means to achieve net zero emissions, are found here. Further information on the Race to Zero starting line criteria is found here.
- Set a strategy and move to action – The 1.5°C Business Playbook provides guidelines for how to set a climate strategy and move to action. The Playbook highlights key actions to reduce your own emissions and those from your value chain emissions, as well as how to integrate climate in your business strategy and contribute to climate action in society.
Measuring and reporting emissions
Businesses can more effectively reduce emissions when they understand their baseline and largest sources of emissions. Reporting publicly on progress keeps your business – and others in your industry – moving towards science-based climate targets.
- Getting started — When you make the SME Climate Commitment, you’ll be required to report progress after the first 18 months. The SME Climate Hub will provide a simplified reporting process designed specifically for SMEs, but a good place to start now is by reviewing the Emission Possible guide from WWF, which includes a broad overview of reporting protocol and the terms most commonly used such as Scope 1, 2 & 3, as well as sector-specific recommendations.
- In-depth, step-by-step, guidance —To measure and report emissions in your business, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol is the most widely used accounting standard, and a great place to start: Take a look at the thorough guidance on Scope 2 emissions, and guidance on Scope 3 emissions, as well as the new cross-sector calculation tool.
- Measure emissions in more specific areas of your operations — For example, Carbon Trust’s Carbon Footprint Calculator is designed specifically for SMEs to measure some scope 1 and 2 emissions, Doconomy’s interactive tool is helpful to understand footprints of products that brands and material suppliers produce, and EcoAct’s guide leads you through measuring your working from home emissions. The Climate Hero Carbon Calculator is designed specifically for service businesses.
Taking climate action makes business sense. Business will be able to manage business risk and gain a competitive advantage, by staying ahead of the curve in the new net zero climate economy.
- Getting started — The 1.5°C Business Playbook – Pillar 3 provides guidance and concrete measures for how to integrate climate in your business strategy and move to action.
- Implementing a climate strategy — For an in-depth look at the risks climate change poses to your business, and the opportunities available by taking action, review the Chapter Zero’s guide and interactive tool that leads you through the steps for implementing change.
Reducing your own emissions
These are emissions directly related to your company, like office electricity and heating or employee transport and business travel, as explained in detail in the Emission Possible guide from WWF.
- Set a strategy and move to action — The 1.5°C Business Playbook – Pillar 1 helps businesses reduce their own emissions, by highlighting key actions across energy, buildings and travel.
- Start today — The UK Business Climate Hub highlights several steps businesses can take to cut emissions starting today.
- Pursue energy efficiency projects — Carbon Trust’s SME-specific guide introduces how SMEs can finance energy efficiency projects, which help reduce emissions and drive down business cost.
- Remote working & employee output — Many employees have been working from home. Flexible workplaces are an important way to reduce emissions from commuting and office space. Use EcoAct’s guide to measure work from home emissions and explore ways to reduce these emissions using recommendations from Carbon Trust’s report.
- Reducing travel emissions — For businesses which rely on vehicles to transport goods, or with significant commuter emissions, the Energy Savings Trust offers a Fleet Management Toolkit to reduce road transport emissions.
Reducing your value chain emissions
Value chain emissions include emissions part of the company’s supply chain, but outside its internal walls, as explained in detail in the Emission Possible guide from WWF. For example, emissions created from your suppliers, or caused by the use of your sold products.These emissions normally represent the largest share of a company’s total footprint.
- Set a strategy & move to action — The 1.5°C Business Playbook- Pillar 2 helps companies to set a strategy and move to action to reduce their value chain emissions. The guide highlights key actions to reduce emissions from materials, transport, and the use of products.
- Measure, report, and reduce emissions — The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 3 Evaluator makes it easier for companies to assess emissions throughout their value chain. See the ‘Measuring and Reporting Emissions’ dropdown above for more in-depth information.
- Manage energy and carbon outputs — The ‘How to be a good supplier’ guide from Carbon trust helps SMEs with their energy and carbon management. The UN Global Compact and Businesses for Social Responsibility offers a comprehensive guide on supply chain engagement.
Contribute to climate action in society
Becoming a climate leader also means using your company network and wider sphere of influence to support and accelerate climate action in society.
- The 1.5°C Business Playbook – Pillar 4 – highlights key actions for how you can contribute to climate action in society.
- As a complement to reducing emissions and providing climate solutions, you might consider investing in nature based solutions or projects avoiding emissions often referred to as offsetting projects. You can consider investing in climate offsetting projects from organizations such as Gold Standard, South Pole or Go Climate. This Carbon Offset Guide helps companies and organizations to understand carbon offsets, while the UK Government has set out guidance (page 115) to help ensure the chosen initiative(s) meet high standards.
- Encourage employee climate action — Climate Hero’s Carbon Calculator helps individuals calculate their carbon footprint in 5 minutes, and Net Zero Pensions Guide for SMEs provides guidance on how to contribute to climate action through your pensions.
- Inspire change through conversation — Now that you’re on the road to becoming a climate leader, engage with other businesses in your network to join you in the Race to Zero. Climate Outreach’s guide presents practical tools for communicating climate change with small businesses, and their Talking Climate Handbook is a practical, evidence-based guide about how to discuss climate action in our daily lives.
- The Climate Justice Playbook for Business provides insights, guidance, and case studies of companies that are seeking to advance climate justice in their operations, supply chains, and in the communities they impact.
- Share the initiative — Encourage other SMEs in your network to join you in the Race to Zero by making the SME Climate Commitment. Communication resources are available here.